With less than a year until formal campaigning gets underway for the 2022 midterm elections, questions of which immigration policies will be on the ballot remain. This upcoming election is considered crucial for this and other hotly debated topics, as 36 gubernatorial (governor), 34 Senate, and all House seats are up for election, which could effectively skew the ideological leanings in all chambers.
What Could Be Debated?
Immigration policy was a common platform point for both Democrat and Republican candidates in the 2020 elections, and President Joe Biden committed to reform upon his inauguration. Looking forward, it's important to understand which rules are currently in motion for approval and what may be highlighted over the next year.
Building the Border Wall
Despite President Biden suspending the construction of the border wall upon taking office and continuing to cancel contracts, many Republican lawmakers push back at this notion. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has actively proclaimed his continued support for the wall and pledged an estimated $250 million toward the project earlier this year. As his seat is up for reelection in 2022, immigration policy is expected to be a key point among challengers.
Although lawmakers fought against the proposal to include a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients earlier in the year, a new proposed rule, set to be codified in November 2021, restructures and builds upon the previous program. Still, several candidates and constituents have already expressed their support for Dreamers to achieve citizenship.
As the initial proposal for the national budget included citizenship paths for DACA beneficiaries, temporary protected status recipients, farmworkers, and essential workers, voters can expect that citizenship policy reform may come up again around election time.
The Afghan and Haitian refugee crises have gained worldwide media attention in 2021, launching these policies to the top of many peoples' minds. Political groups have been using these to push an anti-immigration agenda in recent months, which may cause the handling of these resettlements to be at the forefront of immigration debates come 2022.
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